Lessons & Questions on: C


Activities Following “Percentages, the Swiss Army Knife of Comparison”

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Questions: 1. Rick Santorum, a candidate for the 2012 Republican nomination, claimed that “62 percent of kids who go into college with a faith commitment leave without it.” [Source: http://bit.ly/A77XED] What is being explicitly compared here? Is it a longitudinal or cross-sectional comparison? If 62 percent is the “part”, what is the “whole”? 2. Of […]

Mind the Edges: Unemployment by College Major

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In the COMPARABLE framework the “E” is for “Edges”, and part of the “question of edges” is whether there are significant subpopulations. In the case of unemployment of recent college grads, the answer is yes: The center would tell you only that the average unemployment for college grads is about 9%. But the lowest rates […]


Questions: Student Loan Debt Surpasses Credit Card Debt

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Read the following comparison: Consumers now owe more on their student loans than their credit cards. Americans owe some $826.5 billion in revolving credit, according to June 2010 figures from the Federal Reserve. (Most of revolving credit is credit-card debt.) Student loans outstanding today — both federal and private — total some $829.785 billion, according to Mark […]


Activity: Rent vs. Mortgage Cost

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Some people say that we couldn’t have known there was a real estate bubble. But quite a few economists pointed out well before the crash that the “price/rent” ratio — that is, the average cost of owning a house/apartment divided by the average cost of renting — was well outside of historical norms. This led economist […]


Activity: CEO Pay Infographic

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Via http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdsdigital/4963409391/sizes/o/in/photostream/ Click on the graphic to enlarge.   IN this graphic, the association is made that the more people were laid off at a company, the bigger the salary. That seems like we are rewarding incompetence! What might be a confounding factor? What should be taken into account to fix the comparison? Hint: ptgaeocfiszeoynmtp If such […]